About Me

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Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cold Process Soap Making

By all means please realize that I am NOT an expert.  This was my first time making the soap and I have to say that all in all a pleasant experience.  I will just share with you that before you do this you need to do your homework.  I talked to people that made their own soap and got their step by step instructions.  I watched a TON of you tube videos, I listened to the advice of people that made it often.  I learned about hot process and cold process and decided to go this way.  Also, lye is very dangerous! Make sure that you keep it in a very safe place where young children and animals can not get into.  Make sure that when you are making soap that children and pets are away from the kitchen area as you are doing this.  It is very dangerous and one of the reasons that took me so very long to even get the courage up to make the soap!

I will share with you the recipe that my friend gave to me and her step by step instructions.  I will tell you that I think that my batch was too thick because my scale started messing up when I was doing the solid fats....which when you have lye already made I just didn't think it was a good idea to leave and go buy a new scale...so we can see how bad it is...and it may still be useable...we will see!

So, first of all you need the following:
1.  Use glass or plastic containers
2.  Safety goggles and gloves and mask
3.  Stainless steel pot...mine was 8 qt and big enough for the soap batch that I made.
4.  Vinegar to use if you spill any lye on yourself it neutralizes the burn.

Ingredients needed for this particular batch:
 20 oz water
10 oz lye
Always remember to ADD the lye to the WATER otherwise you will have a chemical reaction...add lye to water, add lye to water, add lye to water!

27 oz olive oil-not virgin
8 oz beeswax
25 oz Crisco
20 oz coconut oil
2 oz of lavender essential oil and for this batch I added a little bit of dried lavender....because I wanted to and my friend said I could!

Here are her step by step instructions:
1.  Put water in glass bowl
2.  Add lye to water and dissolve.

I had to step back twice during this process because of the fumes.  I did it in my kitchen sink but had my exhaust fan and my kitchen door all the way open.  The fumes were not horrible because this was not a huge batch but I can def see the importance of the mask.  I took no pictures during this step because I really was very nervous about this process. When I was done I just left in the sink to cool...and started working on melting all the other fats.

3.  Melt olive oil, beeswax, crisco and coconut oil.

Make sure that you have a wonderful scale...mine decided to start FREAKING out when I did the beeswax and the coconut oil.  It worked perfectly great for all the others.  You have to have EXACT measurements for your soap to turn out!

4.  Remove from heat as soon as melted and let cool for 10 minutes. 

5.  Add lye.  Make sure that your gloves and protective eyewear is on for this part in case there are any splashes.  Stir for five minutes vigorously do not stop! It was amazing this process as I watched the different colors that it would turn as it reacted together...first a dark brown and then lighter in color.
6.  5 minutes @ trace add fillers...this is when I added my lavender and this is what trace looks like:

The way it was explained to me that basically you can see the "trace" that your spoon made.

7.  Add essential oil, mix and pour into lines box.  Freezer paper is the best liner.  I have also seen people use white trash liners.

As you can see mine is a bit thick...which makes me sad....because I'm not sure it will "set up" right but we live and learn eh?

Keep in cool room for 2 days and keep it covered.  I wrapped mine in two large towels and put a huge post it..on it that says "Don't uncover!" cause I have nosy people living in this house.

On Thursday I will test it and cut it up and if it "set up right" I will place the cut soap on end on top of an unprinted newspaper.  Let dry for two weeks.

As always my ingredients were bought at www.symphonyscents.com


Glycerin Soap with Prizes Inside

Quite possibly this is the easiest project EVAH!

I bought the following supplies at Hobby Lobby...the small bag of glycerin was enough to make the 12 soaps.

You can make this project as expensive or as cheap as you want.  They sell the bags of glycerin at HObby Lobby and you can either use toys from around the house or even on line they have toys specifically made for glycerin soap.  This was supposed to be an economical project and I though these toys were cute and would serve the purpose for what they were intended for.  I'm just using them as littleChristmas gifts for my E's friends and also to encourage my E with her handwashing. Next time I will do things differently with the toys (such as put them upside down DUH so the face is what they see through the other side....LIVE AND LEARN!) Also, I think that I will put a little fragrance in them...but since they were being given to 3 and 4 yr olds I thought that perhaps fragrance free would be best.

I used this muffin tin because we don't really like this particular one for food.  YOu can use a tin muffin one if you would like....just be sure not to REUSE it for food....it will taste soapy!

You just follow the directions on the back of the glycerin bag...melt 30 seconds...stir melt 30 seconds more.  Put the toy in the muffin tin and fill half way with glycerin and then wait for a few minutes before filling the rest of the way.  Its supposed to take 30 minutes for them to harden but mine set up even faster than that.  Leave for an hour to make sure they are hardened all the way and pop out! It's seriously THAT EASY!

Package how you like! Enjoy! My E just saw them and was so excited to pick out her soap to wash her hands with!Photobucket

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sugar Scrub

Today I finally finished decorating! Now I'm in the middle of cleaning but wanted to get one project out of the way for my gift baskets I'm doing....I'm trying to get the courage up to make my soap....I have to make it this week to make sure its ready in time....so I cheated and did an easier project!

Sugar Scrub!

I have to say I really like this one...and I made mine all different scents.

Ingredients you need:
3 cups white sugar
1 cup and 2 tbsp olive oil
10 drops of essential oil...I chose lavender, spearmint, honeysuckle and sweet pea.  Since I make a lot of my own products I already had these on hand.  I get mine at www.symphonyscents.com  I also get my soap making supplies there also.

You mix the sugar and oil together

Then you add your essential oil

I bought these adorable jars at Hobby Lobby for a dollar.  I wish I would have bought more...I will go back and get some!

I added the sugar and oil together and then separated....then I felt a little CRAZY and because "Martha Stewart suggested it I colored the sugar and then added the fragrance.  I put them in the jars but I suggest your putting it in separate bowls that would make it easier to stir and get the right color etc.

I have to say I like this one better than the brown sugar scrub I made....they smell heavenly!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homemade Christmas Baskets

I have been busy this week as most everyone has been.  We have been blessed with gorgeous weather....we are awaiting the bottom to fall out shortly.For now my house is in the transition of Christmas bliss and box chaos which results in too many decorations I'm sure.  However, I truly can't imagine it any other way.

I'm recovering from a knee injury so I have to go slow but thankful that I can say goodbye to the crutches and hope to never have to use them again.  My mind tonight is going in a million different directions.  After this Sunday I hope to have the house all decorated and then can start my projects....plus homeschool and catch up on house cleaning....some days I try to do to much I'm sure.

This next week I will be attempting to make homemade soap.  I have put this project off long enough...the whole lye part is scaring me quite frankly but I'm going to try making it in my old crockpot....hopefully that will turn out well...little nervous....will have a full tutorial on that this week.

I will be making Christmas baskets with the following projects all made by my dear little hands.
1.  Knitted scarf

 2.  Homemade body or foot scrubs
3.  Homemade laundry detergent
4.  Homemade candles

The Laundry detergent I have done and I LOVE....the foot scrubs will be easy but the soap and the candles???? I'm a little nervous about those....will have those tutorials up as they are completed!

Have a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Celebrating Birthdays

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was giving birth to my son T...today he turns 12! How is that possible?  Most mothers on their child's birthday look at how quickly they've grown, how much their child has learned.  I look at this day as how far we have come. 

I think looking back at his childhood I feel a lot of...gulp....GUILT! I used to just "waller" in the guilt....trying to change the path that we found ourselves in....and today I say...."we are better for it!"

No one sets out in life and decides to marry someone and they turn out to be someone different than you thought them to be...no one plans on death....no one says when their little "I want to grow up and get my heart broken and be a grieving widow at the age of 28."  However, God never promised our lives to be "easy" he only promises to go with us, to help us, to give us strength when we think we can go one bit further. 

My son T came into this world on a rainy Tuesday evening....I had just about completely given up that he was ever coming...he was huge for my five foot 2 in frame and the doctors thought he would be 7 lbs....he was 9 lbs and 2 1/2 ounces.  I remember doctors and nurses coming to see him and looking at me and saying "HOW did you do that?" Since it was my first baby I just thought...."well....I wasn't aware there was another way?"  I would get angry when he was three days old and we took him to the pediatrician and people would say "Is he three months old?"  My husband and I were offended...and would say in not so nice a voice "NO, he is three DAYS old!"  My T talked early...and hasn't stopped since, he spoke clearly and was always highly intelligent.  I see him being a leader someday....but hoping that he can learn to "listen" to others so that he will be a good leader, an effective leader, one that gains respect.  I pray that he will learn to listen to the Holy Spirit...that he will learn that it is better to allow others to look good instead of putting others down in order to look good.  I pray that he will learn to say that he is wrong and let his sensitive heart that I know and see to come out and let others see. 

He is a wonderful son, a great big brother and one that I am so thankful for.  However, there are days that the guilt of his life overwhelms me...but that is only Satan digging into me....I hold onto the Savior....and pray for the lessons of hardship to be used for his good for my T to see them as "learning lessons."

May His name be praised!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Lessons

This month on my facebook wall I have seen my friends write what they are thankful for each day.  I have even joined in....and I have loved reading the things that people are writing.  The most striking things to me are the "little" things that people write.  I think when you start observing the "little" things is when you truly are understanding what having a grateful heart is.

For the past three weeks I have been in a big chair waiting for my knee to heal....it is finally better...but not completely healed.  I can finally walk with no limp and go up the stairs with no pain but I have to go slow....I have to make sure that I'm pacing myself and then get back on my one crutch when it starts hurting again...I have to be in "tune" with what my knee is telling me.  During this time of "patience learning" I have learned many things, and have found it fascinating in the things I have learned.  I had a friend tell me...well, several actually...."perhaps this was NOT for you but for your family....to realize all that you do for them."  I have an 11 yr old that clearly sees that now and my four year old also.

I have learned to be still and enjoy the time with my family.  My E is four...it amazes me the things that she is learning. My T is 11 will be 12 in two days....how did we get here already? Last night while I was putting my E to bed I turned on her praise and worship music and she wanted to twirl.  I watched her in silent thanks as she twirled and twirled to beautiful praise music moving her hands in quiet dance...this little one I prayed and begged God to send me...and when I finally bowed to His will and said that it was ok that I was content with my one child...He gave me the desires of my heart.  My E her name means "God has answered" and my husband and I are blessed to have her.

Today as I begin my first days back to "normalcy" I am tempted to set aside the "quiet" I am wanting to embrace the "chaos" clean like crazy, decorate like nobody's business and spray paint SOMETHING....but in a way I'm sad....the quiet, the "letting things go"....perhaps those lessons still need to be put into practice.  The dust will always be there, the swiffer wet jet will be ready to use and the laundry won't always be piled high....but do I want to live in a house that's spotless with my children who are unhappy that their mother never spends time with them....or do I want to sit....and watch my E twirl?

I think I want to watch my E twirl and sit around with my T....before its just a distant memory.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


It is a time that I am ready to be soo OVER....sitting on my chair commanding to my children what needs to be done....grape juice spills that have to be cleaned by 11 yr old hands...laundry....done by husband...and clothes ending up in wrong drawers....control.....needing to be let go....or insanity sets in.  Shopping....can't really be done....crutches are the worst....and I'm NOT getting in one of those little carts....no I'm not.  Thanksgiving this year....that's ok...my hubby always does the meat....it will just be small family gathering...not a big deal....however.....Christmas....

I'm having a hard time with Christmas.....to give you an idea this is what my house looked like last year for Christmas I put the pics on here......so....I"m thinking this year....I need to go simple...and I'm really having a hard time with that.  I'm having a hard time with all of it....I just want to walk and run again....I just want this season to be over....I'm running out of patience! I'm tired of talking about it....everyone asks no matter if I know them or if they are complete strangers....I get stared at....and people get mad that I go so slow....so for now...I just like to stay at home....the only time I feel normal is when I can drive my van....nobody knows I'm broken when I ride in my van....nobody stares....I think when I'm all better...and I see someone who appears to be "broken"....I will def make sure that I pay attention to them in a positive way....not act like they are in my way and huff and puff around them....because really....I do know that they just want to appear as "normal"....because that's how I have felt.....

So still working on being patient, letting go of control and just laying it all down....and keeping it there....not doing that so well!